Dervish filled the arena with folk vibes today as they rehearsed the archetypal Irish entry on stage in Hartwall.
The stage background is split into an array of cells by a network of orange lines, like neon stonework, which eases into movement during the extended instrumental break, and waxes and wanes behind the band as they play. The Irish delegation have avoided the clichéd greens of last year's staging.
The band give a very easy-going, laid-back performance, and it works very well on stage – They Can't Stop the Spring has more than a little of the pub performance about it, which, at least today, was emphasised by the casual jacket and trouser look that the band members opted for. Cathy Jordan looks costumed up already, in a folksy black and mustard floor-length dress with hair tied up in a ponytail, playing the bodhrán as she goes. She has a charming performance style; extremely honest and gentle, and this comes across nicely in the hall and on the screen.
There is structure in the performance via a simple routine where the band members follow Cathy around the stage like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and the easy attitude of the band on stage means that this is not too rigid to spoil the mood.
The finish is dealt with nicely, with the camera pulling out from Cathy to the whole band, as she beats a triumphant last note in the air.